Friday, August 24, 2012

Domesticity Redux

I scrubbed my bathroom floor today. Really, really, on-my-hands-and-knees scrubbed. I used Pine-Sol. I used Mop & Glo. I slipped and slid across the wet floor with a knife trying to clear away whatever it is that accumulates along the baseboard.

I tell you this, because were you to walk in to my apartment and make the foolish mistake of asking if you could use my bathroom, you would think it had not been touched since the Wilson administration.

My bathroom is very small. It is totally functional but the concept of luxury was not in the architect's mind when designing it. Since the room has no storage space whatsoever other than the small medicine cabinet, I bought one of those white-metal, over-the-toilet storage shelves, which I had to bend slightly to get to fit. It has four legs which are impossible to reach, let alone clean around.

Being unable to lift my head high enough to be able to look people my height or taller in the eye is difficult; turning it more than 15 degrees in either direction is next to impossible—all of which makes trying to reach behind the toilet and exercise in sadomasochistic fun and futility. But I try. I really do.

I keep my cat, Spirit's, dry food and water beneath the sink, and small bits of dry kibble inevitably find their way out of the bowl and into the far corner dividing the main part of the bathroom and the shower, so I am constantly sweeping them up. You would think that might help keep it clean. You would be wrong.

So, deducting floor room for toilet, under the sink, and storage stand leaves an area 2 ½ feet by 5 feet. I bought a throw rug measuring 2 feet by 3 feet, hoping this would help keep the floor clean. Needless to say, it did not.

I suspect that someone has (or a large number of people have) duplicated the key to my apartment, and while I go out for coffee, or am otherwise occupied, use the bathroom for mud wrestling championship matches. (I also would not be surprised to learn they sometimes use the rest of the apartment for similar activities, but that’s another story.)

Most of the people I know—my friends and my family—consider, with total justification, their bathrooms to be showplaces; all sparkle and neatness and crisp, neatly folded guest towels and little bowls of pot pourri, and not so much as a gnat’s eyebrow to be found. (And if there were a gnat’s eyebrow anywhere around, it would have been picked up with a few squares of toilet paper and promptly flushed down the sparkling water of the toilet.). Were there room, they could hold state dinners in there. I stand in awe of their ability, and I am truly envious.

I clean my bathroom sink at least four times a day. But I can clean it to a shine, and come back ten minutes later to find it looking as though someone had dumped a 55 gallon drum of toxic waste into it. And we will not even mention my toilet bowl. No, we won’t. Seriously.

Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please take a moment to visit his website ( and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (


Kage Alan said...

One day 40 years from now, one of your neighbors will call the police. "I've heard him yelling in his bathroom before, but never like this. I swear I heard him say 'Plunge this!' and when I went down there, I couldn't find his body. I think it finally got him."

Dorien/Roger said...

LOL...but I think you might well do it next week...or tomorrow.